Monday, November 14, 2011

I'll get in on today's Harvest Monday. I have been such a blog slacker lately! So busy, so tired! But I am still getting stuff out of the garden and plan for it to continue as long as possible!
This week, broccoli, raspberries (STILL), I picked a few parsnips from around the edge of the box, seems they don't like to be too close to the walls of the beds...we ate them anyways!

And, just a few Purple Magnolia snap peas, seeds shared by Mac! Thanks Mac! Daughter ate these right up, hope I get more before they are done for! I am going to try to put my pop up green house over them to try to keep them going as long as possible.
Thanks, to Daphne at Daphne's Dandelions for hosting Harvest Monday so we can show off our goodies!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Treasure Chest Birthday Cake

Eli turned 2 this week. Can you believe it? The kids decided they wanted to be Jake and the Never land Pirates from Disney channel, Jake (Jacob), Izzy (Daisy), and Cubby (Eli).
 So for the birthday cake I decided to build a treasure chest! This was an overwhelming task! I was worried all week but it turned out so awesome!
The top is made out of a rice crispy treat that I molded into shape and covered in chocolate. It took 3 batches! The bottom is chocolate cake and chocolate frosting! I used a 11"X15" cake pan and cut it in half and stacked it. The top is held on with 5 wooden dowels, 2 on the sides to look like the hinges, and three hidden inside the back of the cake.

Jake and the Never land Pirates Treasure Chest Cake
I piped on all the trim, I was going to use fruit leather but could not find any in yellow, but I think this turned out way better! I loaded it up with chocolate/gold coins, gold nugget chocolates, ring pops, candy necklaces, rock candy and anything else that looked like pirate loot! My MIL piped on the swords, I was not sure I could do that. And it was her idea to use a rice crispy treat for the lid!
It turned out great and was time consuming but no where near as hard as I thought it would be!
 I think everyone really enjoyed it!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Preparing for frost 10/21

Spent a good portion of the day picking all that I could before frost and pulling some tomato plants. It has taken a good portion of the day to clear two 8ft tomato beds and pick a bunch of odds and ends.
one last pile of beans will make a nice side one night this week. I thought they were done, they surprised me.

The raspberries are still going, there are several more blossoms out there. I don't know if they will make it past the frost though...

The one and only Dills Atlantic Giant, ha! It never did fully mature before the SVBs destroyed the vine. 2 more sugar pumpkins. That gives me 3 more to steam up and freeze! That is the last of them out of my garden for this year though.

Black Cherry tomatoes

small sweet peppers! Hopefully a good many will still turn! Otherwise, DH will be eating a lot of green peppers cause the kids don't like them green!

Matt's Wild Cherry. I still have not gotten all of these! I chopped off a huge portion of the plant and it is still 8 ft tall and the other "little" one, is not so little anymore!

Stole a shelf in the garage from DH. This is all the larger tomatoes. Those beds have been cleared.
Lots of work while still trying to get over being sick. Blech! Was tempting to just leave it all. But I got most of it. 

Anyone plant parsnips over winter? My mom keeps telling me that that is how my gramma grew them in MI, over the winter. Thinking about trying it. I have a box of parsnips that will be picked soon that were planted in spring. But now that I got the tomato bed cleaned out, I thought about putting some in there. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sweet Potato Disappointment

Strep has been working it's way through our house the past couple weeks. Been too blah and too busy to get out to the garden much. But I got DH to help me dig up the sweet potatoes, which by how many vines and flowers we have had, I thought there would be plenty. My excitement was crushed when we only found 2 decent ones and only a few little ones. It was enough for one meal. Yes they were good, and my children gobbled them up, especially my son, he LOVES sweet potatoes. I think I will try planting them in one of my raised beds next year.
Also got the last two cucumbers, a very small cabbage, some broccoli sprouts, tomatoes, peppers and a few dry beans. I haven't even touched the cherry tomato plants in about 2 weeks. I think I am about to rip them all out. Frost is forecasted for one night this week, so it is probably a good time.
I do still have broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, parsnips, peas, chard, and a couple of other fall things going out there. And the garlic is in! Music garlic will be planted here soon too!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Harvest Monday Oct 3

It's Harvest Monday, check out Daphne's Dandelions for some more great harvests.
This was my little watermelon from last week. It was little but it was good!

Been getting a decent amount of raspberries off of 3 plants, they will be winding down here pretty soon.

After not getting out to the garden this week, I had a bit of catching up to do. And I needed to get the basil cut since it is getting into the 30s here at night already! Saved another pumpkin from the borers. It is getting pretty orange though. Lots of little sweet peppers and lots of little tomatoes, I didn't even touch the big MWC though! That thing needs taming! :) A few beans dry and podded.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Harvest Monday 9/26

It has been raining this week and cooling off a bit. I think the rain is helping the garden, but the cooler weather is slowing down the growth of the warmer weather veggies. It's good for the cool weather veggies though! The garden is definitely winding down and needs to be cleaned out some!
Click on over to Daphne's Dandelions to see what others are harvesting!

The FIRST cucumber for me this season! If I am lucky maybe I'll get one more! A little spinach, a few raspberries, a couple of broccoli side shoots. My daughter has been eating a bunch of spinach lately and wanted me to send some in her lunch bag for lunch. Can you guess what she did with it? SHE THREW IT AWAY! Grrrr ;)

These pumpkins needed saving from the SVBs that were in their stems eating their way toward the pumpkin! The stem on the short fat one was completely severed and the vine dead. I don't have a ton of hope that it will turn, but I will try anyway. I have a little more hope for the other one because it does have some bright orange on it! I HAVE had these particular pumpkins finish ripening inside before, so it gives me hope! Three more are turning orange out there, but the vines are pretty much dead. I have more hope for them. I also have the first of the Goldie Husk Cherries. They are sweet and sour!

I finally took a ladder out to get to the Matt's Wild Cherry tomatoes! Uhg! I gave them away to my friend. Her girls love them and her tomatoes did not make it due to Deer problems and overcrowded plants. So I shared!

Another small watermelon back there. The first one tasted just fine. I wish I could grow something bigger than a baseball! I have probably 5 more out there about baseball size. This one is a tad bigger.  My first Black Beauty Zucchini of the season! More spinach, and more dried Dragon Tongue Beans.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Harvest Monday Sept 19

It is harvest Monday at Dapne's Dandelions. Join in the fun!

I have been dragging this week and have not gotten out to the garden too much. The kids have had strep and  I have not felt much better. So, I only got a few things here and there. Whatever was necessary. I really need to get out there with a ladder and try to get to all the MWC's that I can't reach!  They come in by the bowl full when I feel like picking and digging for them through the bush! They are just coming out my ears. I think I am going to have to freeze them.
Dragon Tongue beans on the right and Taylor Dwarf bush on the left

Used these onions for Turkey Porcupines in Sunday night's dinner. Chard, fresh tomatoes (not canned per recipe), green onions, garlic,  dried basil and cilantro from the garden were all used in this meal.

The chard leaf in the back was just huge, I had to cut it. I added it in with some in the fridge and put it on pizza. I think the beans are coming near their end. They are looking pretty rough.

Tomatoes, beans, onion, pepper., and the raspberries are coming in about a handful every couple of days. They are yummy.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Turkey Porcupines w/ pasta and chard

I started with a recipe such as this one, Turkey Porcupines. I used some fresh from the garden mashed tomatoes, fresh green onions, some dried cilantro and I added dried basil to the recipe as well.  When it was all done I added some cooked noodles and and some chard from the garden until it wilted. My daughter first looked at it and said very passionately, "that looks disgusting!!" Well, of course, the good mother that I am, I made her eat it anyway! Ha! And she loved it and asked for more meatballs, and finished everything else too. The other two did a great job as well! Turned out to be a winner!

Friday, September 16, 2011

I'll do it myself!

Have you seen the cost of some of those hair bands at places like Gymboree and even Kohls? They are so expensive! And my daughter has fallen in love with them after getting a couple at the Gymboree outlet! So, I started making some of my own. Why not save a little money.

Maybe I'll branch out a little and try doing some of the twisted ones too. But for these, I have been using a hoop for cross stitching and laying out the ribbons with a hairband under one ribbon and then sewing it on. Pretty easy! Those two little flowers were stickers in the scrapbook section that I pulled the sticker off of and sewed a rubber band too! She loves them! Problem is, I went crazy buying ribbon and now have a ton of it and probably did not save any money! ;) But hey, she'll be hooked up on some streamer hairbands! They might make some good gifts too!

Monday, September 12, 2011

 It has been raining a lot this week, so I did not get out to the garden too much. But I am happy for the rain. My garden has needed it.

The third zucchini was picked! Getting a few fall raspberries! My Celebrity Tomatoes have taken on and odd pear shape!

Picked the first cauliflower! Not sure about one, the top one looked like maybe it was going to bolt in the middle, but the outside did not look ready. Hmmm, maybe it is because this was a SPRING planted Cauliflower that finally produced something! The other one looked great.

The first and tiny watermelon. It has not grown in weeks if not longer, so I decided to just pick it. It was small but it did taste good. The kids ate it right up.
Head on over to Daphne's Dandelions and check out the other harvests and post your own!
I am making this short and sweet this morning because I am taking my little boy to his first day of preschool!
Happy Harvesting!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Harvest Monday September 4

Peppers are coming in about every day or two. Beans are coming in pretty good. I have frozen several bags. Cherry tomatoes are in abundance still. Large tomatoes are few and far between, maybe a few a week. And the Fall bearing raspberries are coming in a small handful at a time. There are only 2 plants out there that I can see and only one of them is getting red right now, surely the other one won't be far behind.

The last cantaloupe was picked, there were 3 total, but one rotted.

The first yellow zucchini of the season and another summer ball pumpkin, probably the last.
One cup of the pumpkin and one cup of the zucchini went into this pumpkin zucchini bread! Mmmm yum. Recipe found on All recipes, Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

More dried beans. The red pepper is actually a purple beauty bell. I let it go red because kids didn't like it purple!

Some of the popcorn has been shucked in that pie tin, a huge pile of cherry tomatoes, 2 more zucchini, more beans, more chard, more peppers! And another handful of raspberries. These 2 zucchini went into a recipe called Skillet Zucchini I found on Allrecipes as well. Super good recipe!
Hoping for some rain today and this week. It has been very dry. Maybe a good rain will pump my garden into high gear again! It sure needs it! Plus we have a cool front coming in this week. We have had 100's the past few days and my peas and brassicas are not liking it one bit! Hope we don't go strait from blasted hot summer to super cold winter. A nice fall would be pleasant!
Check out Daphne's Dandelions for some more fun harvesting!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A few end of August happenings

The tomatoes are still producing, there are plenty of green ones out there that have plenty of time to ripen. I have lost probably 6 or more tomato plants so far, and probably about 6 healthy ones remain and a few not so healthy ones. The cherry tomatoes all seem to be doing just fine! They are coming out my ears. Can you see them? 
My big green squash patch has turned brown and flat with a few vines still surviving around the outside edge of the patch, but covered in powdery mildew. Hope to keep them surviving long enough to turn the pumpkins orange! There are 5 sugar pumpkins and one Dill's Atlantic Giant. As for other winter squash, nothing. I got one Carnival squash and something happened because it was the worst chemically tasting thing I had EVER tasted! Strait to the garbage!  Blech!

Do you see that? I am getting summer squash!!!!! YaY!!! There are 2 there almost ready! Pumpkin Zucchini bread is in the foreseeable future! Mmmmmm!

Aren't these pretty! Sweet Potato Flowers. Only 2 in the whole patch but they are pretty!


The Dills Atlantic Giant doing good! Trying to keep the squash bugs from eating it!

Do you know what this is? The squirrels went after these after the corn was demolished. Yep, all the sunflowers were beheaded! I was going to try to save seeds, but they got to them first! Ah, oh well. Not as disappointed about this as the corn!

Lettuce seeds. "Peanut" butter crunch. (my daughters name for it)

This is the largest of the sugar pumpkins. One of them is showing a hint of orange! Not too long!
The peas seem to be doing well.

They look healthy.
But, the beans I had planted disappeared!  Not a sign of them insight. Too late to try again! Next year!
Those are just a few things happening around the garden this end of August! Still looking good. Just need to try to keep up with the watering better. It is super dry out there! I've slacked on that the past couple of weeks. Adjusting to a new schedule with the kids catching the bus, well, let's just say I am NOT a morning person!
Happy Gardening!